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Happy 5th birthday to the iPad

David Ludlow
3 Apr 2015
iPad Air 2 best tablet image
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The tablet that made people actually want tablets hits its 5th birthday

After Apple announced the iPad on the 27th January 2010, a lot of people dismissed it as just a big iPod and that nobody wanted a tablet. When it launched on April 3rd 2010, five years ago, all the doubters were shown to be wrong and the tablet was a huge success. In fact, it holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device, shifting 3m units in just 80 days.

With the tablet now well established, it’s hard to remember what an important device it really was. Before the iPad launched, we had tablets, but they were massively hampered by the Windows operating system they ran, which really wasn’t designed to work on touchscreen devices. It was no wonder, then, that a lot of people didn’t think that a tablet could work.

With the iPad, Apple managed to take iOS and customise and tweak it for the iPad’s 9.7in display, giving the iPhone’s experience on a bigger screen. Most importantly, Apple also got developers to make iPad-specific versions of their apps, making them work properly on the tablet.

Sounds easy, right? Yet, it took Android a long time after the iPad was launched to get a version of the OS designed to run on tablets, while apps took even longer to come; you could still argue that you still get the best app experience on the iPad, which has more than 675,000 apps designed specifically for it.

Since its launch, musicians, artists and TV presenters have used the iPad. Now, every UK MP will get an iPad Air 2 after the election. With the move to digital, parliament has estimated that it’s saved £3m a year from not having to print things out any more. With productivity apps, such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote, as well as Office for iPad, the tablet is more than just a tool for consuming media, but one for creating it too. At five years old, the iPad now has its best version yet, the slim and powerful iPad Air 2.

If there was every any doubt about the impact that the tablet has had, you only need to watch the video below. It shows Simon Pierro, the iPad magician, performing his tricks on the Ellen Show in the US.

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